Posts Tagged by Race Retreat

2016 Princess Half Marathon Race Retreat

This year I was lucky enough to have not one but TWO contributors attending the Race Retreat over Princess Half Marathon Weekend!  Today Deborah is sharing why she loves Race Retreat and all of the benefits you receive.

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2016 Princess Half Marathon Race-Retreat

Why I Love Disney’s Race Retreat

My name is Deborah and I love running Disney races.  My most recent races were the 5k and Glass Slipper Challenge during the Princess Race Weekend 2016.  While I had many great experiences during this trip to Walt Disney World, this blog will focus on the race retreat at the half marathon.  This is the second time that I have used the race retreat and it cemented for me my love of race retreat.

First, the facts:

  • What: Race Retreat is an additional purchase option during some runDisney events where you have access to a large, heated tent along with a number of amenities before and after the race
  • Purchase: Through the runDisney website
  • Cost: $120US plus processing fee
  • Includes:
    • Bagels, fruit, beverages before the race and a breakfast buffet (eggs, sausage, etc.) after the race
    • Tent with chairs and tables, private port-a-potties and bag check
    • First aid station after the race
    • A character meet and greet
    • Internet and computer stations to check results
    • Massage for purchase
    • Big screen with live video of the finish line
  • Controlled access: You pick up a wrist band at the Expo

Expo Floorplan

 

The morning of the 2016 Princess half marathon was chilly, not cold like in 2015, but certainly fresh.  After getting off the bus before 4:00 am on the morning of the race, I could see other runners heading to the corrals or waiting in the staging area; many were huddled together or clutching their runDisney Mylar blankets from the 10k the previous morning.  I, however, walked with purpose, following the signs to the race retreat.

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After showing the race retreat guards (really, just a couple of nice Disney cast members) my wrist band, I was allowed to enter the race retreat.  The warm tent was a delight after the long, cold, dark trek from the buses.

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There were round tables with chairs sprinkled around with tables of food in the centre, and stations for gear check, the character meet, and other services were lined around the outside of the tent.   My first task was finding a table to serve as base camp for all of the different tasks and activities that went on for the next hour.

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These included eating (a bagel, cream cheese, jelly) drinking (hot chocolate and water), visiting the port-a-potties, and getting a character photo.  Had I brought a bag, I could have left it at the gear check in the tent.

 

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Shortly after 5:00 am, announcements were made asking all runners to head to the corrals.  It was tough leaving the warm tent, but sitting in a proper chair for the hour before the race was so much better than sitting on the cold ground.

After the race, I headed back to the tent.  This is where my first of two criticisms of the race retreat comes into play:  you have to find the tent!  Looking at the map, it seems very clear.  However, the signage after the race was seriously lacking and it took some time to find the tent amongst all of the people.

 

Map

The race retreat wrist band was required to re-enter the tent.  Once inside, there were again a number of things to do.  My first priority was to find something to drink and there were lots of choices, both hot and cold: Powerade, Coke products, water coffee, and hot chocolate.   I made two trips to the buffet for eggs, surprisingly delicious potatoes, yogurt, fruit and sausage patties.

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The First Aid station was handing out Tylenol, ice, bandages and staff were there to help anyone who needed assistance.  The characters were back and were meeting with the runners, and the gear check staff were handing out Princess towels.  There was also an area where runners could pay for a short massage.

 

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If you are going to the race with a group of family and friends but not running together, the race retreat is an excellent place to meet after.  Those who finish earlier have a warm, comfortable place with chairs and tables, and they don’t have to wait to enjoy a good, hot meal.

Family and friends can purchase access to the Race Retreat tent for after the race, to meet up with their runners.  An area with bean bag chairs and a television playing Disney movies was set up for the children.

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I mentioned above that I have two criticisms of race retreat, the first being the difficulty finding the tent after the finish.  The second is the expense.  At $120US, it is undoubtedly expensive.  I, however, find that it is money well spent and I will continue to purchase Race Retreat whenever it is available.

 

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A Peak Inside runDisney’s Race Retreat!

I’m very excited to welcome Heather back to RAD today for a peak inside runDisney’s Race Retreat! There isn’t much information available about this additional event during some race weekends and I’m thrilled to finally have an inside look at all the details.  From food, characters and accommodations, Heather’s got us covered…let’s go inside!

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Race Retreat!

Along with the races, runDisney also has some fun and useful events during a race weekend. During WDW marathon weekend and Princess weekend, they have Race Retreat before and after the half (and the full during marathon weekend.) The first time I was trying to decide if I wanted to do Race Retreat, I tried finding reviews online, but there’s really not much out there. So I knew I wanted to write one this time, since it’s still a mystery to most runners, and help you decide if it’s worth it to you!  (RAD Note: Thank You Heather!!)

I’ll say right off the bat that Race Retreat is expensive. This year it was $120. During marathon weekend, you can get it for both the half and full, and that was $230 this year. This year’s Princess Half was the fourth time I’ve done Race Retreat, so even with the price, I have decided that it’s worth it for me for the half marathon. (In 2014, they had Race Retreat with the 10k, too. It wasn’t worth it, which is probably why it’s no longer used for the 10ks!)

So, what IS Race Retreat? It is a tent just off the start/finish area that you can enter before and after the race. It is temperature controlled & out of the weather conditions, has seats where you can relax, has food, has characters you can meet with a short line, has medical and massage (extra charge), has private bag check, has a private set of port-a-poties (so they usually aren’t as disgusting as the ones used by more runners), and has a live video feed of the finish line.

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Only runners who have paid for Race Retreat can enter before the race. You pick up a wristband at the expo that you can put on yourself the morning of the race (so no having to wear it for days, like the coast to coast wristbands!) They will check for your wristband both before and after the race when you want to enter the tent. Non-racers who pay for a certain Cheer Squad can enter once the race starts.

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Race Retreat is about a 10 minute walk from the regular start/finish area. I always think, wow, I forgot how far this is, when I’m walking over. Especially after running a half! When you are walking from the buses before the race, you have to take a right just before entering the main starting area. Otherwise, you’ll miss it, and have to walk all the way back. Remember this extra time when you are deciding when to leave Race Retreat and head for the corrals! There’s a clock inside that counts down to the starting time for the race that you can keep an eye on. I leave around 4:30, since I’m paranoid and just like to get to the corrals early, but I’m usually one of the first ones to leave the tent.

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A big reason I decided to get Race Retreat was that my first half was 2014 Wine & Dine, the Splash and Dash where it rained the entire time. And as I followed along watching the next 2 race weekends, there was a race that was really windy, and one that was freezing. I decided that having an area where I could relax inside, away from mother nature, before heading to the corrals would be a smart idea. The tent IS inside, but I want to say that it’s not really a comfortable temperature. It still feels a bit cold inside. And if you are standing around where the characters are, there’s a big fan and it’s FREEZING in that area. It is still better than standing around outside in the cold, but it’s not exactly as comfortable as I expected the first time I went.

There are tons of tables and chairs inside, and I’ve never  had trouble finding a seat. The very first Race Retreat I went to had a few very comfortable sofas, but I haven’t seen those since. But the chairs they have are fine.

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On the tables, both before and after the race, they have Cliff bars or Luna bars.

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Usually there’s different color lighting, depending on the theme of the characters. But this year, they had some nice themed decorations in the tent, including on the tables. (I apologize for anything in the background of the pictures. Tables are always being taken and then I guess some runners don’t throw out their trash, because I had a hard time finding any empty table I could take a nice picture of!)

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On each table, they also have a schedule of events, so you can see when the tent opens and closes before and after the race, as well as a menu of the food.

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Speaking of food, this is probably the main reason I love getting Race Retreat! Before the race, they have the perfect pre-race fuel, bagels! During other Disney races, I always have to remember (and of course I sometimes forget) to get a bagel at the resort the morning before the race, so I can save it and have it the next day before the race. But with Race Retreat, I don’t have to worry about this at all. I eat my bagel pre-race plain, but they have anything you want to put on the bagel, including peanut butter, jelly, or butter . There’s also whole fruits, such as oranges, apples, and bananas. And in cold buckets, they have small water bottles and poweraide. They also have coffee and sometimes hot chocolate, though I didn’t see it this time, but I think I just missed it.

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After the race, I’m always starving! And with a typical Disney half, by the time I hang around the finish area, then travel back to the room, shower, change, and head to the park, it can be a while before I eat. One race weekend, I kept putting off eating because I was hanging out with friends in the park, and I didn’t eat anything until around 2. Not good, at all!! With Race Retreat, I know that I’m going to eat something that I need right after a race, and I honestly think this is the main reason Race Retreat is absolutely worth it for me (I guess these are the most expensive eggs ever!!)

The food Race Retreat has after the race is generally scrambled eggs, potatoes, some kind of meat (I’ve seen bacon in the past, but lately, it’s turkey sausage patties), whole fruit such as oranges and bananas, oatmeal, and muffins. There’s also the same drinks as before the race.  I felt like the food during Princess was the best I’ve had at Race Retreat. The eggs can sometimes be typical Disney scrambled eggs runny, but this time, they were really good. The eggs usually have cheese on them, but I can usually find parts that don’t have any cheese on it (if you’re like me and don’t want eggs with cheese, especially after running a half.)

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There’s usually breakfast potatoes, but this time, they also had a potato and onion soufflé, which was also tasty.

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I always get the turkey sausage patty, and while it’s good, I always remember after taking a bite that it’s pretty sharp. I don’t like spicy things, but if you do, you’ll probably like it. Eggs, potatoes, and meat are exactly what I want after a race, so they do a good job here.

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There was a nice selection of muffins. I ended up with a REALLY yummy strawberry muffin. You can see they aren’t labeled, so I tried to guess and take another before leaving, but it was some other type of muffin. Still good though!

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This is the first time I saw cut up fruit after the race, along with Greek yogurt, next to the whole fruit, including oranges.

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I was happy, until I saw melon in the fruit salad. I decided to take a chance, and ask one of the Cast Members who was bringing out the food if the fruit was already mixed, and she said no. I explained I was allergic to melon, and she said she could bring me out berries. I was really excited, she came right back with lots of strawberries, grapes and blueberries! I thought that was really nice.

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I didn’t have oatmeal, but you can see there’s a nice collection of food they had that you could add to it as well.

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They say that breakfast service ends at 10am, but they still had food out well after that. Here’s what the food service tables looked like around 10:30am. They emptied a few tables, but there’s you can see there’s still lots of food out on the further away tables.

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I’m a big character person, so another thing I love at Race Retreat are the characters! Usually, you can even find rare characters out! The same characters are out before and after the race, so if you run out of time before the race, you can meet them later. Or you can meet them both before AND after the race, because who doesn’t love meeting characters wearing your medal!? There’s always a Cast Member there to take pictures on your camera or phone. There isn’t a professional photographer with the characters, either from MarathonFoto or Photopass, so make sure you have a camera or phone with you!

The characters at Race Retreat at Princess were from Princess and the Frog, which you probably could guess from the Mardi Gras themed decorations and lighting you’ve seen in earlier pics! Tiana, Naveen, and Louis switched out with Dr Facilier and Louis. Usually there are 2 sets of characters that switch out every half hour. During marathon weekend, though, they had both sets of characters out at the same time! The characters are in the back left hand corner of the tent, and most of the time, there’s no line. Before the race this time, though, the line was longer than usual, and the characters switched out before I made it up there. So I met Tiana, Naveen, and Louis before the race

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It’s nice that you can have some interaction with the characters, too. It’s not like on the race where you quickly snap a picture with the character and run off.

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After the race, there was NO ONE waiting for the characters. I’ve found that to be the case every time at Race Retreat, there are more people meeting the characters before the race than after. This time, I met Dr Facilier with Louis.

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Dr Facilier tried to steal my medals because they looked like they were worth a lot, but Louis jumped in and wouldn’t let him. Phew!

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Since the characters change each time, here’s the other characters I’ve met at previous Race Retreats, to give you an idea of the type of characters they can have out. They range from super rare (last year’s Race Retreat was the jackpot for a character hunter like me!), to characters you can meet regularly (most of the Alice characters)

Foulfellow, Stromboli & Gideon and Pinocchio, Gepetto & Jiminy Cricket at 2016 Marathon Weekend

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Belle, Beast & Chip and Lumiere & Cogsworth at 2015 Princess Half Weekend

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Alice, Tweedledum & Tweedledee and Mad Hatter & Queen of Hearts at 2014 Princess Half Weekend

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If you are checking a bag, you don’t have to go to bag check with everyone else. There is bag check inside the tent. This is great after the race, since there’s no wait! At Princess, there’s an extra treat for anyone at Race Retreat after the race. The last two years, they have given out a small, square towel, with the logo of the race. Even if you aren’t checking a bag, you can go to bag check in the tent and get the towel!

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I didn’t take a picture of this (though you can see the layout in an earlier picture of this post), but after entering the tent, you go to the left, and there’s 2 doors to go outside for the women and men port-a-potties. They can only be accessed by those who were in Race Retreat, and they can be used before and after the race. There’s also several stands to wash your hands.

Towards the front of the tent is a medical section on one side, and a massage section on the other side. The massage costs $10. I’ve never gotten one here, but there doesn’t seem to be a long line. Also in this area is the live feed from the finish line. I was in Race Retreat late, so I was able to watch the very last runner cross the finish line this way. She was SO happy, and Goofy and Donald walked her across the finish line. It was really emotional, and I never would have gotten to see it if I wasn’t in Race Retreat, so that was pretty cool.

As I said earlier, at this Race Retreat, they had a lot more theming than other Race Retreats I’ve done, and they even had a great Princess & the Frog backdrop. Before leaving, I asked another runner to take a picture of me in front of it!

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Hopefully that gives you a good sense about what Race Retreat is like! Any race where it’s available, I always debate if I really need it, but then on race day, I’m so glad I ended up getting it. The chance to relax a bit pre-race, the food, and the characters, is what makes it worth it for me. If you have any other questions about it, let me know!

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Heather-Winfield-Bio-PicHeather is an annual passholder that loves coming up with excuses to take a trip to the World. She started doing runDisney races for the characters, but then found out she actually loved running. Visit her website, I Love Characters, to see pictures of the over 240 characters she’s met at Disney World and Disneyland. Follow her adventures at Disney on twitter, instagram and facebook.

You can also find other articles by Heather on RAD where she Compared the Disneyland 10K to Walt Disney World Races and recapped the 2014 Fit for a Princess Health & Fitness Expo.

A Race Retreat From The Cold

I’m often asked if Race Retreats are worth the extra cost.  While I’ve haven’t experienced one first hand, every time I see what they entail I think it might be in my future for an upcoming race.  Besides the warm area to wait for the race to start, there is tons of food, character photo ops and a stretching area.  

You might remember Jenn recently from The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler weekend where she covered the Villain’s Bash and gave some great tips on prepping for a night race vs. a morning race.  Well she’s back with a look inside the Race Retreat from this year’s Walt Disney World Half Marathon!  I’d love to hear what you think about the Race Retreat and if it’s something you will be doing for a runDisney race.

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Well, another fantastic WDW Marathon weekend has come to a close. Marathon Weekend is my favorite race in Walt Disney World. The excitement is palpable throughout the entire weekend, and I love how every runner is so supportive of one another. I have attended these weekends for 3 years straight, and I have experienced something new each time; and this year was no exception. First, I attended as a ChEAR Squad participant, watching my husband run his first half marathon. My second year, I attended both as a runner and a ChEAR Squad Member; there was no way I was ready to run 26.2 miles with my brave hubby! This year, I attended as a runner in the half marathon.

If you have been to any Disney races, you may be aware that many of them feature a Race Retreat. This is an optional extra that runners can purchase, and space is limited. The Race Retreat is open to runners and Platinum level ChEAR Squad participants, and I must say, it offers quite a few perks!

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First, a description: the Race Retreat is in essence a very large, climate-controlled tent. It is set up near the finish line, and it is open for both the Half-Marathon and the Full Marathon. This option is not provided for the Family 5K or the 10K. Within this space, there are several different areas, each providing comfort and convenience to the runners and spectators who have purchased access. You notice tables and chairs set up throughout the space, and as you may imagine, there is a nice spread of breakfast food available.

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The retreat also features changing areas, gEAR bag check, and private port-a-potties – and if you’ve ever participated in any race, Disney or not, you know how important port-a-potty access can be!

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The retreat opens at 3am for runners, stays open until 5am when the runners head to the corrals, and then re-opens at 5:30am for Platinum ChEAR Squad Members and runners. It stays open until 10am for the half-marathon, but of course, it’s ope later for the full. There are real-time updates on the runners available for spectators, as well as, you guessed it – food!

Speaking of food, you may be wondering what exactly is served. Before the race, runners can enjoy bagels, fruit, juice, coffee, water, and hot chocolate. There were mini-Cliff granola bars scattered on the tables, and muffins were also placed out about an hour after the retreat opened. And don’t worry – if you, like my mother, will only eat a toasted bagel, there are toasters available! There is also an assortment of jams, peanut butter, and cream cheese available as spread for your bagel.

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Of course, you are running in Disney, so there is bound to be some Disney magic, right? Right! Each year, the Race Retreat features character meet-and-greets! This year, in honor of the release of Toy Story 4 this coming April, we got to meet Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and Bulls-Eye!

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There were also some Green Army Men running around posing for pictures. One of them was particularly enamored with my husband’s fake Capt. Jack Sparrow dreds.

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Fair warning: the line for the character greet can get long, so you may want to do this first thing when you arrive.

Another fabulous area is a relaxation center, which features a TV and bean bag chairs. You can view a Disney movie in comfort here, and it is a popular space for kids once the ChEAR Squad is permitted to enter. It was completely full by 3:30am…runners like bean bag chair too, apparently!

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Of course, you are actually at the Race Retreat to run, so Disney has thought of many conveniences for race prep. I have already mentioned the private port-a-potties, which are located just outside the tent, but it is worth adding that there were no lines for this amenity. They also featured a hand wash station in addition to the hand sanitizer, which I personally appreciated.

One of the amenities inside the tent is a First-Aid Self-Treatment area. The table has an array of handy items, like band-aids, Bio-freeze, Tylenol, Vaseline, Skin Lube, and sunscreen.

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So if your gEAR bag is missing some important item, there’s a good chance it is here at the self-treatment station.

In addition to the First-Aid station, there is a Stretch Area. You can see in the picture that there are small tables around the perimeter. That is because this area is also utilized after the race for massages; you can pay $10 for a 10-minute massage.

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The stretch area got pretty full at around 4:30am, since that is prime time to check gEAR bags and prepare for the walk to the corrals.

Speaking of corrals, let’s talk about the walk to get there. The Race Retreat is a convenient distance from the finish line, which I definitely appreciated after 13.1 miles, but it is a solid 10-15 minute walk to get to the corrals. Since runners are supposed to be to the corrals by 5am, you need to plan accordingly to ensure you are on time (and to make sure you can use the non-private port-a-potties, if necessary).

By this time, it’s just about race time!

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As I mentioned earlier, the Race Retreat is actually closed to all runners/spectators from 5-5:30am. It then re-opens with an additional spread of food. This spread is more substantial than the pre-race goodies. Scrambled eggs with cheese (and salsa or ketchup, if you like), breakfast potatoes, turkey sausage, oatmeal with accompaniments, muffins, mixed fruit, granola, and greek yogurt are all available.

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Of course, there is also coffee a-plenty – thankfully! Juice, water, and hot chocolate are also available. The food is tasty, and the workers do a great job keeping it replenished.   Speaking of the workers, they are fabulous! They are friendly, helpful, and just all-around good people.

It is worth noting that Race Retreat runners get a “goody-bag”. This year, it was a drawstring bag promoting the new Disney movie, “MacFarland U.S.A.”, Champion socks, and a marathon sweat towel.

So, is it worth it? In my opinion, it absolutely is! Particularly this year, with temperatures in the upper-30s, it was fabulous to be warm while waiting for the race to begin. In other races where I have not utilized the retreat, I remember how long it felt while waiting in the corrals. I can only imagine how long that felt this year with the cold! I also liked that I didn’t need to worry about remembering to buy my pre-race food the evening before. It was nice being able to eat at a leisurely pace, and I was able to time it nicely with my start time.

Without the Retreat, I sometimes feel like I am forced to eat earlier than I otherwise would prefer to. The food offerings were exactly what I like to have, and so it took the guesswork out of my morning preparations. My parents enjoyed the Retreat as ChEAR Squad Members, and they were grateful for a warm place to sit and watch the finish line.

I am so glad that I was able to take advantage of the Race Retreat this year, and honestly, I will always purchase it from here on in – especially since next year MAY just be my year to brave 26.2!

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Jenn has been a lifelong Disney fan.  Her passion for the Mouse has only increased throughout the years.  She visits Disney Parks 2-3 times per year, often in conjunction with Disney Races.  In addition to being a fan, she plans Disney travel for others, hoping to share the Magic with everyone.  Through her Disney-themed blog & Facebook pages, she regularly tracks new and exciting changes to the Disney parks so she can share them with others.  Check out Jenn’s blog DISining Memories and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Registration is Now Open for the 2014 Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend!

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Registration is now open for Disney’s Princess Half Marathon taking place February 20-23, 2014!!

This magical race weekend is obviously inspired by the Disney Princesses and is the epitome of girl power!  With tiaras shining brightly and tutus primped and primed, over 25,000 runners will once again be taking the streets of Walt Disney World to to earn the sparkliest bling in the land.

2013 Princess Medal

While men are by no means excluded from participating in the race (in fact we LOVE to see them out there in their princess attire!), the unique thing about the Princess Half Marathon is that the first two corrals are reserved only for women to guarantee that a woman will be the winner of the race.

New for 2014 are the additions of the Disney Enchanted 10K and the Glass Slipper Challenge where you get a 3rd medal for completing both the 10K and half marathon.  There is also the new pink Coast to Coast medal that can be earned by participating in both the Tinker Bell and the Princess Half Marathons.  The Royal Family 5K will be taking place again with a Cinderella theme this year, as well as the Kids Races which look like they will be held at Epcot this year.  Information for all the race events are as follows:

Disney Princess Half Marathon (February 23rd at 5:30 am)

  • $160 by August 13, 2013
  • $175 between August 14 and November 19, 2013
  • $190 on or after November 20, 2013

Disney Enchanted 10K (February 22nd at 5:30 am)

  • $95 by August 13, 2013
  • $110 between August 14 and November 19, 2013
  • $125 on or after November 20, 2013

Glass Slipper Challenge (February 22nd & 23rd)

  • $270 by August 13, 2013
  • $290 between August 14 and November 19, 2013
  • $310 on or after November 20, 2013

Cinderella Royal Family 5K (February 21st at 6:15 am)

  • $60 per participant

runDisneyKids Races (February 21st & 22nd)

  • $15 per Kids Dash participant
  • $30 per One Mile Run participant

For 2014, there is a new way to register as a 2-Princess Team, as well as new perks for you and your teammate!  Unlike in years past where a team would register together, now each individual runner will register for either the Princess Half Marathon or the Glass Slipper Challenge (There is no team division for the Disney Enchanted 10K).  Then the team will have to register separately for an additional $15.  Yes that’s right, there is an additional fee for running as a team where there hasn’t been before.  But there are additional perks that will now be available, such as a commemorative sash and a special team photo area at the expo.  Hopefully other surprises will be in store as well!

Before any of the races, all participants must stop by the Fit for a Princess Expo to pick up your race bib, t-shirt and do all the shopping your heart desires.  The expo runs from February 20 – 22 and it has been confirmed that it will be returning to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex this year after a tight squeeze at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.  I’ve attended the expo at both locations and you can read my experiences at the 2012 and 2013 expos to see the difference.

Welcome

If you’re looking for the ultimate VIP experience over Princess Weekend, then the Race Retreat may be for you!  For an extra $120 (yowza!!), you will have access to various pre and post-race amenities, such as a temperature controlled tent, snacks, private bathrooms, a commemorative item and more.

There are also various dining events over the weekend that you can attend.  The first event is immediately following the 5K on February 21st with an all new Breakfast.  Here you can enjoy a breakfast buffet with items such as quiche, breakfast burritos, french toast and more, as well as special character meet and greets and photo ops.

Returning for 2 nights this year (February 21st & 22nd) is the Pasta in the Park Party.  This family oriented event takes place in the World Showplace Pavilion inside Epcot and includes a buffet dinner of pasta (duh!), character meet and greets, and a reserved viewing area for Illuminations.  Pricing for both of these events is as follows:

Pasta in the Park Party Tickets

  • $52 for Adults (ages 10 and up)
  • $28 for Children (ages 3 – 9)
  • Children Under 3 are free

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Breakfast

  • $37.50 for Adults (ages 10 and up)
  • $17.50 for Children (ages 3 – 9)
  • Children Under 3 are free

And let’s not forget the most important part of any race, the spectators!  There are 4 different package levels available and range from a newsletter at no cost to the platinum package that includes entry into the race retreat.  You can get all the details of the packages here and the pricing is as follows:

ChEAR Squad

  • Bronze – No Charge
  • Silver – $39 per package
  • Gold – $65 per package
  • Platinum – $115 per package

New information about the 2014 race weekend is available here regarding logistics and procedures.  Also, make sure to visit the runDisney event page for more information on all of the events taking place that weekend including details on the CheEAR Squad, packages, transportation information, park tickets and more.

Pre-sales for the Glass Slipper Challenge sold out in 2 days this past week, so I’m sure the event itself will sell out very quickly.  So if you are interested in participating, I would register as quickly as possible!

I LOVE this race weekend and have had the best time over the past 2 years running it with my friend Amanda!  It’s a great girls trip 🙂  You can read my race recaps from this year here: Royal runDisney Meet Up, Fit for a Princess Expo, and Princess Half Marathon Race Recap.

And don’t forget about 2012, my FIRST half marathon!: Tangled Royal Family 5KFit for a Princess ExpoPrincess Half Marathon – Pre-RacePrincess Half Marathon – The RacePost Race Snacks, and listen to my full recap on the Be Our Guest Podcast.

Will YOU be a Disney Princess in 2014?!?

Price Breakdown of the Runner’s World Challenge for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

This week runDisney announced the Runner’s World Challenge as part of Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend taking place January 11-13, 2013.  My initial reaction to this news was: “I must sign up for this now!”  Then I saw the price of $1,649 for Marathon participants and I put the brakes on that.  That is way out of my budget for a weekend trip for the race.

Here are the details:

JULY 9, 2012 – (New York and Lake Buena Vista, Fla.) – Imagine a weekend where you run through Disney theme parks, experience Disney entertainment and are rewarded with a unique Disney medal, all while running side-by-side with Runner’s World editors who helped you train and encouraged you along the way.

The 20th anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon, Half Marathon and Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, which are part of Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna, are the latest races to be designated Runner’s World Challenge events. Participants will virtually train with Runner’s World editors leading up to race weekend, and then on race weekend have the opportunity to enjoy an exclusive VIP race experience with Runner’s World editors all hosted by runDisney at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, FL.

The weekend consists of the Half Marathon Jan. 12, 2013 and the Marathon Jan. 13. Those who choose to can run the Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, where participants must complete the Half Marathon on Saturday, followed by the Marathon on Sunday to qualify for Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge medal.

More excitement awaits runners taking on the challenge of the Disney Marathon, which marks two decades of magical miles of Disney entertainment, one-of-a-kind medals and family memories. The 20th anniversary race will feature a new course routing through the Walt Disney World Speedway and Champion Stadium ballpark at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex; enhanced entertainment at Mile 20 to celebrate the 20th anniversary; a commemorative 20th anniversary Mickey Mouse medal and a new post-race party in Downtown Disney.

Interested runners can signup at RunDisney.com or Runnersworld.com or call 407-939-7781 for more information.

 “We’ve planned 2013 to be the biggest year ever for the Runner’s World Challenge, and we’re excited to be collaborating with a great new partner for this kick off in January at Walt Disney World for the 20th anniversary Disney Marathon Weekend,” said David Willey Runner’s World Editor-in-Chief and Rodale Inc. Active Living Group General Manager.  “Our editors are already gearing up training plans, logging miles, and preparing for this unique event.  As with all of the Runner’s World Challenges, our readers can count on receiving expert advice and personal engagement with our editors while training for this special weekend.”

“The opportunity for our runners to have personal access to some of the leading minds in the running industry through the Runner’s World Challenge is going to be hugely beneficial to anyone running our half marathon and marathon that weekend,’’ said Faron Kelley, Director of Sports Marketing and Communication at Walt Disney World. “With so many races taking place around the country, partnering with the running experts at Runner’s World will further differentiate our Disney Marathon Weekend and noticeably enhance the overall race weekend experience for the thousands of runners who are expected to participate in our 20th anniversary event next year.”

Challenge participants will have exclusive access to a Challenge-only website where they can ask questions that will be answered by Runner’s World editors. They can also share their best tips on nutrition, injury prevention, health issues and other essential training topics as they get ready to run at Disney.

This exclusive package created for participants in this special Runner’s World Challenge weekend at Walt Disney World includes:

  • Entry into the 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon, Half Marathon or Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge with preferred corral placement
  • Three night stay at Disney’s Yacht or Beach Club Resort
  • Private packet pick-up and hospitality suite at the resort
  • Keepsake 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend gift
  • A Runner’s World Challenge tech shirt
  • Course strategy session with the Runner’s World experts and editors
  • Exclusive shakeout run with the Runner’s World editors
  • Entry to the Pasta in the Park Party on Saturday night Jan. 12 at Epcot® with Runner’s World VIPs & editors
  • Private transportation to and from the start and finish lines
  • Entry to the Race Retreat which includes pre and post race hot and cold beverages, dedicated stretching area, and private portalets & bag check, post-race buffet, massage and live results
  • Post-race celebration on Sunday night at the Cool Down at Downtown Disney

The price for half and full marathons participants is $1,649 and for the Goofy’ Race and Half Challenge is $1,899.  This sticker shock led me to breakdown the price to see if this price is warranted.

Race Registrations

  • Half Marathon & Marathon Registration = $150 (current rate)
  • Goofy’s Race & a Half Challenge = $320 (current rate)

Additional Weekend Events

  • Pasta in the Park Party = $47.50
  • Race Retreat = $99

Hotel Accommodations

  • 3 nights at the Yacht or Beach Club Resort = $1,300 (estimate for standard room rack rate)

If we add this up, the total for the half and full marathons is $1,596.50 (a $52.50 savings) and the total for the Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge is $1,766.50 (a $132.50 savings).

Yacht Club

Well now it doesn’t look as expensive, but is a commemorative shirt, a keepsake item and the strategy sessions worth what you would safe?  Or is it the prestige of running with the Runner’s World elite that’s worth the extra cost?  You also need to ask yourself if you would take advantage of these additional events or stay at a deluxe resort if it wasn’t part of the package.  I’m a DVC member, so I wouldn’t pay for a deluxe resort.  I would either use my points or stay in a value resort for race weekend, so obviously this package doesn’t make sense for me.  But if you are planning on running one of the races and are already booked in a deluxe resort, this might be a great option for you.

If you are interested in the Runner’s World Challenge, you can find more information on the runDisney website.  Don’t worry if you have already registered for any of these races, your race registration will be refunded when you register for the challenge.

What do you think of this partnership?  Are you registering for the Runner’s World Challenge?

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